Terrasvogels returns home with Cups|
PARMA / MILAN (Italy) / SCHIPHOL (Netherlands) - The team of Iber Lengua Terrasvogels returned home safely on Sunday-evening to end an exciting week in Parma, where the CupWinners Cup was captured for the first time in six years.
The day after the event, Head Coach Leigh Podlesny (who also led Terrasvogels to winning the CupWinners Cup six years ago in Valencia, Spain) looked back to the successful tournament in Parma.
On August 8, when the regular season resumed after the international break, Leigh took over the coaching at Terrasvogels after Assistant Coach Michael Laarman had served as interim- Head Coach for nine games.
Michael was in charge of the team after Darwin Tolzin, who started the season as Head Coach, returned home.
It was known in advance that Darwin would be with the team for only two months and we know that he and his wife Jean are following the games of Terrasvogels through the internet.
Leigh Podlesny looks back: ,,It makes me smile. We experienced every aspect of the game, injuries, heartbreak, amazing victories, phenomenal pitching, really ugly games where inexperience was shown, but we went through all of the experiences.''
,,Before the tournament I did hope to get to the championship game, that was my goal, once you're in the championship game, anything is possible.
Luckily, we had a favorable schedule, so we could spread our pitching enough.
But then the injuries came and that made it difficult.
In situations like this, you have to wait how a team deals with this, it can break you or it can make you. And we handled it very well.''
,,We weren't leading in any of the categories, best hitting, best defense, best pitching, but we had the best team and that's the most important thing.
Maybe we didn't have the best team, but we surely deserved to win. We won the team award.
The players showed willingness to do what it takes to win.
Changing attitude, working harder, doing extra work and being smart with their time outside of softball.
They were adjusting when something different happened, maybe more so than a more seasoned team.
It made it relatively easy to coach, because these players wanted to win.
Last time, I had a much more experienced team.
This was the opposite, but easier to coach, because they were more eager.
Sometimes nervous, as some never have been in some situations before, but that takes more time, you learn when you play.
This has been a great experience for everyone.
I would like to be in the championship game of the Holland Series.
A lot of teams will be shooting for us the coming weeks.
First we have to rest, recover and prepare for the coming games in a 3-week period, we now have to regroup to play at our best in the end.
Things will be mixed up the coming weeks because of the recoveries, but it's my job to get the team ready.
Sparks Haarlem and Tex Town Tigers are tough teams, but we are the hardest working team, which never says no.
There is a lot of room for growth, we are not near our potential yet.''
,,I was impressed with the tournament, it was better than six years ago when I was in Valencia.
The top teams were constant, but the bottom teams improved tremendously.
Also, the umpiring was much better and the tournament was run better from start to finish.
They did a very nice job.''
,,Pick-up players who are not with a team shouldn't be allowed, you should play for 75 percent of the season with one team to be allowed to play.
We have to get rid of the pick-up rule completely.
Then you have the idea who really is the best team.''
After a 2-hour busride from Parma, we arrived at Malpensa Airport near Milan for the flight back to Amsterdam.
On Sunday-evening, the Airbus 319 of easyJet took off more than an hour later than scheduled, due to delays at the baggage handling.
While the new passengers, including the team, were in the plane, the luggage of the just arrived passengers still was being unloaded and afterwards our luggage had to be put onboard.
But eventually, Captain Alessandro Mesonti was able to take off and guided the plane for a smooth one hour and 25 minutes flight to Amsterdam, where we arrived around 9:30 in the evening.
After getting our luggage, the team was greeted by family members and board members of Terrasvogels, who handed out flowers to all players and staff-members.
A successfull week had ended.
The European CupWinners Cup was back in the trophy room of Terrasvogels after six years!
After arriving on Schiphol Airport, Dana Horeman is driven to the baggage belt
In the back of the airport caddy are Solange Starrenburg and Cambria Miranda
And then waiting for the luggage
Head Coach Leigh Podlesny addresses the team before entering the arrival hall
After Leigh's remarks, the team performs its yell
Jaco van Ekeris was one of the Terrasvogels board members,
who welcomed the team and handed out flowers
The team was greeted by family members and representatives of Terrasvogels
Flowers were handed out to all team-members